Hey ladies. We need to discuss something and it has to do with your lovely locks (especially if they’re color-treated). But first, I need to give some virtual love to The Hair Whisperer himself, Drew Delaney of Velvet Salon, who A) is featured in this month’s Allure with a 5-star rating (!!!), and B) brought me over to the dark(er) side recently.

No-makeup close-up in 3…2….

photo (4)
Yikes. But seriously, Drew is a color (and cut) genius, and if you’re in Atlanta, I highly recommend trusting your tresses to Velvet. After we got down with the dark brown, Drew informed me that I should protect and prolong my new hue with a sulfate-free shampoo and recommended Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger line (also an Allure favorite). I was intrigued and snatched it up, along with the Awapuhi Keratin Cream Rinse.

Here are the quick and dirty deets on sulfates: Yes, they’re chemicals. Are they going to give you head cancer? Probably not. But they’re yet another artificial, potentially harmful (ish) ingredient we’re putting on our bodies, aaaand….they can strip your color quicker (the HORROR!). As for the positives (well, there’s only one): Sulfates are what give you that glorious lather and squeaky clean feeling.

The Awapuhi shampoo did feel a tad strange at first (it goes on thick and doesn’t foam up) but I embraced it because of its super-moisturizing and color-protecting powers. However, after a couple weeks, I noticed my hair looking a little limp (never a good thing in any sense), and lacking my usual volume (albeit, very soft). I know this may sound crazy, but I also felt like I was losing more hair than normal in the shower and whilst styling. So I researched frantically thoroughly and came across tales of others finding sulfate-free formulas contributing to duller and/or thinner locks. I also read that thicker shampoos can clog your hair follicle leading to less hair growth and more loss (even more horror!).

So I’m just going to say it like I’m ripping off a band-aid: IWentBackToMyOldShampooAndMyHairIsBackToNormal.

Ahhh, I know. Chemicals! Betraying my stylist! Fading my color faster as we speak (maybe)! I’m committing coif crimes left and right! But I do have to say that my shampoo (Prive Amplifying) is badass so it’s no surprise that it came off the bench and performed better than ever. And here’s the thing: I have slowly incorporated the Awapuhi back into my regime, but am alternating it with the Prive and all is great…so far. I’m still using (and loving) the Keratin Cream Rinse as well as the incredible Styling Treatment Oil (another Drew suggestion).

Overall, I do think sulfate-free hair products are beneficial and they truly moisturize your mane better than their chemically counterparts. If you have dry, processed hair, they can completely change the texture of your tresses (a friend said her hair went from “straw to silk” thanks to L’oreal’s Eversleek shampoo and conditioner). Try them out and if you only feel softness instead of limp, keep on keeping on! If you notice any funkiness, bring in a clarifying shampoo to detox every few washes, then go back to your regularly scheduled cleaning. Here are some of the very best from both sides:

shampoos

L’oreal Evercreme Cleansing Conditioner, $6
Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo, $15+ (Paul Mitchell salons and on Amazon)
MoroccanOil Moisture Repair Shampoo, $22 (and conditioner)

Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo, $16+ 
Prive Amplifying Shampoo, $22+ (in Atlanta, I get this at Dragonfly Salon)
Pantene Ice Shine Shampoo, $7

I see your true (or chemically processed) colors shining through.

LYLAS,
Ashley